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Live: JAMES BAY // Omeara, London

Tonight, London is graced with one of those rare nights where you have to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming.

The intimate 350 capacity venue, Omeara is hosting none other than Mr. James Bay, one of the UK’s finest solo artists, who in only a matter of days will be headlining London’s 5000 capacity Roundhouse. So tonight’s crowd will know all too well how special this gig is going to be!

James emerges solo onto the tiny stage, and compared to what he is used to I can only imagine how claustrophobic it must feel. He takes his seat and acoustic guitar, and after a few words of introduction he opens the night with Wild Love, the first single off his new album Electric Light.

The crowd erupt with applause and cheers, this is exactly what they have been waiting for. James proves he doesn’t need all of the fancy equipment when he performs, his voice is his instrument and it is flawless. My words can not do it justice, the clarity and projection touches each and every person in that room, from the very front to the very back. Song after song, it doesn’t falter.

We are soon graced with a few songs from the first album, When We Were On Fire and the ever popular Let It Go has the crowd singing, James pulls away from the mic during If You Ever Want To Be In Love to let the crowd sing solo while he has the biggest grin on his face, he comments about how great they all sound together.

The whole night is just simply beautiful, but James manages to surpass all that when he addresses the crowd to explain how after the release of his debut album and the tour that went with it, he found he had nothing to do and life became boring. So he hits up his friend Jon Green and together they spend the next six months writing Electric Light. James then welcomes Jon out onto the stage who makes his way over to the piano. The pair duet together for a couple of songs with James ditching the guitar for Slide before bringing it back for Us. His voice is all you focus on as James closes his eyes, using minimal hand gestures to release the power from those lyrics. Quite easily the highlight of the night.

The night is coming to a close with Scars being the penultimate track, a song I never tire of and is the perfect acoustic ballad. The climatic end just gives you goosebumps, again the voice never faltering.

The night predictably comes to an end with Hold Back The River but it is the song that launched his career and is still a sing along favourite with the fans, and in all honesty, it is a perfect closer for what has been a surreal and unforgettable night. Thank you James Bay!

Photos: Rachel Prew